Swarthout - Swartwout - Swartwood - Swartout Families Society
Celebrating 350 Years in the North America
Kingston, New York
August 30 - September 2, 2002
John Swartwout and Mary Swarthout Rindflesch (and we all know that included Rudy!) hosted this years' reunion,
in the Hudson Valley, near some of the earliest Swartwout homesteads.
It was a fast an furious pace! We visited many locations with significance to the early members of the Swartwout family and their descendants.
The old Dutch stockade district in Kingston which contains stone homes built by the Dutch settlers and the Old Dutch Church.New York's first governor, George Clinton, is buried in the church yard. A "government on the run," being chased north from New York City by the British Army, the state government moved to Kingston in February 1777.
Left - We visited the oldest contiguous intersection in the United States with the original four stone structures, fully restored with detailed Dutch architecture.
The old stone home of Abraham VanGaasbeck (built in 1676) housed the first meeting of the New York State Senate. The Senate House has been restored and finished to depict the building as it would have looked in 1777. The Constitutional Convention which ratified the US Constitution on behalf of New York (in which Cornelius Swartwout took part, as is depicted in the mural at the Post Office in Poughkeepsie, NY) was held at the Ulster County Courthouse in the stockade district in April 1777. The courthouse was burned down (along with much of the City) by the British Army in October 1777. It was rebuilt in 1789 and is still in use.
Right - Ann - The guide for Group B - She was a hoot! She is standing in front of a bowl carved out of a oak burl.
Old Dutch - It was here that the settlement's first communion was administered by Domine Hermannus Blum on December 26, 1660 to 17 members of the congregation including Roelof Swartwout and his wife Eva. The plaque to the right commemorates the event. The church contains a heritage museum. In it are old Dutch artifacts and a place set aside for genealogical research. We held our banquet on Saturday evening in the church hall and Peter Christoph provided an enlightening speech, which you can read here, on Thomas and Roeloff Swartwout.
We attended church here on Sunday Morning.
We visited the Post Office in nearby Poughkeepsie to see the famous mural in person! The first thing that surprised us was the size! If you look up when you walk in the main door, you'll see it on the second floor.
Left - Jim Swartwout points to Cornelius Swartwout. The resemblance is uncanny!
Above - We actually found this little gem hiding on the canvas! The little mouse is peaking out of his hole right under the two hands being shaken. Never would see this on the print!
We visited the Henry Sleight House, built prior to 1695, has been restored by the Wiltwych Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. We toured the home and saw many treasures, including a painting of Cornelius Swartwout and his wife. At a bet, I'd guess that this painting was the basis for the figure in the mural.
For the early arrivals there was a cruise on the Hudson River on the 300 passenger "Rip Van Winkle" which operated out of Kingston and cruises to West Point and back.
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Copyright Mark W. Swarthout, 2000-2002